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Mississippi Unemployment Benefits Information

We are an online resource to help answer your questions, check eligibility and assist in applying for Unemployment. You will also be advised if you qualify for additional benefit programs and receive our benefit guide.

Calculating Unemployment Benefits in Mississippi


The time to complete an MS unemployment benefits claim is the Sunday prior to the dated the claim was filed. Backdated claims may be allowed under certain situations.

For those wondering Hhow to qualify for unemployment, it should be noted that it  in Mississippi is also based on the claimant qualifying monetarily. To qualify monetarily, a. the applicant must have earned wages in insured work in during the “base period,” “ must (the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the effective date of the claim) equal to 40 times that individual’s weekly benefit amount,  b. must have been paid wages in insured working during at least two quarters of the base period, and and  c. haveearned no less than $780 in at least one base period quarter. When claiming benefits for unemployment in MS, Aa “benefit year” is established for a period of 52 weeks beginning with the “effective date” of the claim. A benefit year is established only if the applicant meets the monetary requirements of the Mississippi Employment Security Law.

A claimant who qualifies for unemployment can calculate the expected benefit amount before the determination letter arrives. be illustrated by an example. A claimant works for two employers during the year. For example: Employer 1 reports their wages of $12,000 for each of the second and third quarters of 2014. Employer 2 reports their wages of $14,500 for the fourth quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015. Total base period wages are $53,000. The unemployment insurance claimant petitioner satisfies the two requirements of base-period wages of at least $780 in one quarter, and wages in at least two quarters. The weekly benefit amount can be solved by dividing the total wages in the highest quarter ($14,500) by 26, which equals $557.69. The maximum weekly benefit amount per MS law is $235, which then becomes the claimant’s weekly unemployment benefit amount.

The maximum benefit amount allowable is 26 times the weekly benefit amount, or one third 1/3 of the total base-period wages whichever is less. In this case, 26 x $235 = $6100, $53,000 divided by three = $17,666.67. The claimant’s maximum benefit amount is $6100. Finally, it must be determined if the individual has earned at least 40 times the weekly benefit amount. 40 x $235 = $9400. In this example, the unemployment insurance applicant qualifies monetarily and will be issued a Monetary Determination advising the beginning and ending dates of the benefit year, the weekly benefit amount, the maximum benefit amount, and the quarterly wages paid by each base-period employer. 

The minimum weekly benefit amount in Mississippi is $30. If applicants claim unemployment benefits and MDES determines that they do not have adequate wages in their base period to qualify, they may reapply again after the quarter changes if they are still unemployed.

In claiming benefits for unemployment in MS, a claimant is regarded as working part time if they he or she works less than full- time and earns less than their weekly benefit amount, plus $40 during any week. Part-timeotal unemployment claim unemployed applicants are required to report all earnings during each week filed. The amount of earnings in excess of $40 is deducted from the individual’s weekly benefit amount, and if otherwise eligible, the UI petitioner is issued a benefit payment for that week.

Only during periods of high unemployment (defined by MES law), claimants who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits may qualify for an unemployment benefits extension.

Regarding the unemployment benefits claim, Mississippi Department of Employment Security law requires that child support be deducted from the former worker’s unemployment benefits if so directed by the Mississippi Department of Human Services. They will be notified by MDES is child support will be deducted from their weekly unemployment benefits.

There are other provisions that fall under the heading Trade Readjustment Allowances which provide for compensation and/or training to persons unemployed or underemployed due to increased activity of foreign imports. These benefits include training, relocation allowance, relocation move, job search allowance, health coverage tax credit, and alternative trade adjustment assistance.

MS federal unemployment benefits are taxable. The former worker will be furnished a statement, Form 1099-G or the equivalent at the end of the year that the benefits are paid. The law requires the applicant to pay 90 percent of their tax for the year through withholding or quarterly estimated tax payments. The applicant may choose to have 10 percent of their his or her unemployment payments withheld for Federal Income Tax. The tax will be deducted after other deductions are made (earnings, overpayments, pensions, child support payments). They will be permitted to change a previously selected option by reporting to their Unemployment Insurance office.